California is enduring its driest calendar year on record, with no signs of relief coming anytime soon. In San Francisco, the city is seeing its driest year since records began during the Gold Rush year of 1849.
Although a drought emergency has not yet been officially declared, a lack of rain and snow this winter could bring catastrophic losses to California agriculture, as water allotments are slashed by state agencies.
"Soil moisture is depleted, reservoir storage is down and even if we had average rainfall statewide, we probably wouldn't see average runoff just because soil moisture is so depleted," California Department of Water Resources deputy drought manager Jeanine Jones said last week.
In Southern California, through Tuesday, the weather station in downtown Los Angeles had received only 3.6 inches of rain so far in 2013, according to the National Weather Service. If no more rain falls, this would make 2013 the city's driest calendar year on record, breaking the record of the previous driest years, 1947 and 1953, when 4.08 inches fell each year.